Chai Masala Reads

Here are the articles that this blogger enjoyed reading today. Sharing them with all the Monday readers out there…enjoy!

Taiye Selasi on discovering her pride in her African roots

The crisis began – as crises are wont to do – at my best friend’s wedding. Jamaica wasn’t the obvious choice for what Jess likes to call “the whitest wedding on Earth”. But there we sat smiling at the Rose Hall Ritz-Carlton, the hotel’s all-brown staff smiling too. The salad had been served, the bread rolls broken and buttered, and now the reception began properly with polite conversation: how do you know the happy couple, where have you flown in from? I’d been placed between Clara, fair fellow alumna of Milton Academy and Yale University, and Percy, the third and presumably final husband of Jess’s grandmum. With graceful concision, Clara told our tablemates where she came from: Brookline, prep school, Harvard Law School. Percy turned to me. Read more.

Bye-Bye Barbar

It’s moments to midnight on Thursday night at Medicine Bar in London. Zak, boy-genius DJ, is spinning a Fela Kuti remix. The little downstairs dancefloor swells with smiling, sweating men and women fusing hip-hop dance moves with a funky sort of djembe. The women show off enormous afros, tiny t-shirts, gaps in teeth; the men those incredible torsos unique to and common on African coastlines. The whole scene speaks of the Cultural Hybrid: kente cloth worn over low-waisted jeans; ‘African Lady’ over Ludacris bass lines; London meets Lagos meets Durban meets Dakar. Read more.

Ghana Must Go- extract (side note: Requested for this book from the library and can’t wait to read it.)

Dr Wei started also, his deep, bossed gong laugh. “I say this to say that I admire the culture, your culture, its respect for education above all. Every African man I have ever encountered in an academic setting excelled, barring none. I haven’t met a single lazy African student, or a fat one for that matter, in 40 years here. I know it sounds crazy, we laugh, but believe me. I teach undergraduates. I see it every day. African immigrants are the future of the academy. And the Indians.” He paused here to finish his tea. Read more.

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